Monthly Archives: May 2012

Feature Jubilee Exhibition at Morpeth Gallery

‘60 Years A Queen’

Collectors of all things royal are in for a special treat this year,

as the world celebrates the Diamond Jubilee of

Queen Elizabeth II.


Whether you are a royalist, monarchist or a republican, there is no denying that reigning 60 years on the throne is quite an achievement.

The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II is the planned international celebration in 2012 marking the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries, upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952. Queen Victoria in 1897 is thus far the only other monarch in the histories of Britain, Canada, and a few other Commonwealth realms to have celebrated a Diamond Jubilee.

On the morning of 2nd June 1953, three million people lined the streets between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey to witness the process of the Gold Stage Coach.  Millions more crowded around newly bought television sets to watch the investiture of Britain’s youngest sovereign since Queen Victoria.  For many the Coronation represented the beginning of a new age.

This year in the United Kingdom, every town & city is celebrating, with shop window displays featuring memorabilia & collectibles on every street corner.  Manager of Campbell’s Store, Kylie Richards, travelled to the UK in March and it was hard not to get caught up in ‘royal fever’.  The Jump to: navigation, searchVictoria & Albert Museum and Windsor Castle, are just two destinations where visitors in 2012 are being treated to special photographic exhibitions and memorabilia on the extraordinary accomplishments of Queen Elizabeth.

The decision was made to create a feature jubilee exhibition at Morpeth Gallery, incorporating many of the limited edition Jubilee ranges created by England & the UK’s leading pottery houses.  For example, Buckingham Palace commissioned a special fine bone china commemorative tea set, which was released by in a limited edition of just 1,000 pieces and most items sold out worldwide by March.

Morpeth Gallery has a few of these special edition items on display and for sale, along with items produced by the cream of the UK’s pottery houses – Royal Worcester, Spode, Sadler, Churchill & Caverswall.  Gold gilded teapots, cups and saucers, banquet plates, tea caddies, tins of shortbread, mints, teatowels, gold plated spoons, playing cards and postcards abound.

Make a toast to Queen Elizabeth II with a pair of Dartington Crystal commemorative champagne flutes, and read all about the Queen’s extraordinary life and career in a Jubilee souvenir edition hardcover book, illustrated with photographs of magnificent evening gowns, spectacular jewellery, state gifts and documents from the Royal archives.

Other special items in the Gallery display include three beautiful replicas of brooches that belong to Queen Elizabeth.  Featuring Swarovski Crystals there’s a reproduction of her royal crown. A colourful flower basket brooch, which was given to Queen Elizabeth II to mark the occasion of the birth of her first child Prince Charles by her mother and father, and the Lover’s Knot, which looks like a bow, created for and owned by Queen Victoria, it was worn by Queen Elizabeth II at the wedding of her grandson Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

You’ll discover more Diamond Jubilee memorabilia & collectibles at:

Morpeth Gallery, 5 Green Street, Morpeth NSW 2321.

Ph 02 4933 1407

Contact: Kylie Richards.



Thurs 7th – Monday 11th June 2012.

Morpeth Gallery, 5 Green St, Morpeth.

FREE Admission

Birds, animals and plants painted by Australia’s Leading  Wildlife Artists in a  spectacular display of investment art.

World Environment Day celebrations continue at Morpeth Gallery over this long weekend where some spectacular Australian wildlife artworks will be on display. What better way to appreciate our natural environment and its inhabitants than by browsing the work of some of Australia’s finest artists in the field and taking a piece home with you to admire on your wall every day! Meet and watch Natalie Jane Parker, Stephen Jesic and James Hough painting in the gallery, they combine hours of research, careful craftsmanship and attention to detail in order to give life to their works.

The stunning work of Newcastle’s own, Natalie Parker, was first discovered and exhibited here at Morpeth Gallery in 1996. The exhibition was a sell out and since then her works have been in high demand across the country and internationally. Their value has increased rapidly each year making them a great investment. Living and working in the Hunter Valley region means Natalie’s work brings a closeness to home like no other.  Natalie has received great success in recent years from her 23 children’s book illustrations. The books feature fun stories and clever illustrations about the adventures of Australian wildlife characters.  Further, her works are available as prints on mugs, trays, placemats and other popular souvenir items, all available at Morpeth Gallery.

Joining Natalie Jane Parker is Queensland artist, Stephen Jesic’s works are widely renowned from being exhibited in America and his continuous acceptance in the 52nd Annual Exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists, to be displayed from September 1 through December 31, 2012 at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum.  An incredible skill required through years of bird and animal watching all over the world. He specialises in acrylic on clay coated board, which he feels allows for “natural blends, glazes and rich colours that best replicate nature.”

Finally, the exhibition will feature self-taught artist, James Hough. Like Natalie and Stephen, Hough’s attention to detail defines his work. For Hough, capturing as much life as possible in his subjects, mainly Australian bird life, is very important. In each painting, Hough adds unique personality and humour to the birds. James draws much of his inspiration from his own backyard in the Hunter Valley, embarking on field trips to observe birds for hours an end. ”Being able to transpose my passion for wildlife onto canvas has been one of the most positive things I have done in my life,” says Hough. His works are also available at the gallery as calendars, prints, dinner place mats and gift cards.

This is just a taste of the wide array of investment wildlife art that will be on display over the weekend. Each piece celebrates our environment through life, colour, character and accuracy. Admission is free so why not make a day of it and spend time exploring the historic village of Morpeth.

Garry Fleming has had some very exciting news come his way. He now has his own TV show. He has spent the past 3 months fine-tuning the scripts and formats and last week he had a breakthrough with Nickelodeon. They have proposed to program 43 x 5 minute episodes.  These will be aired on television in Asia one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

If this wasn’t enough to keep Garry busy he has recently returned from two weeks in Brisbane where he spent five days in the film studio, filming another 4 ‘How to Draw’ DVD series. This went really well.

Meanwhile Natalie Jane Parker is starting to produce some nice smaller paintings showing companion animals, where two different native animals are seen in the same scene, giving rise to a story in each painting.  These are very affordable, many of which are under $1000.00 each.

Not to be outdone, James Hough has had 6 of his paintings put onto dinner place mats and these are being sold around Australia and New Zealand.

This has helped lift his profile to a point where his sales of original works are outstripping his ability to paint them.  As a result prices for his art are now increasing and James has a backlog of commissions to do.

Trevor Richards and Team.



Friday 25th – Sunday 27th May, 2012

Maitland Showground – Ph 02 6769 4132

Three days of outdoor demonstrations and fun.

You’re invited to meet three of Australia’s most famous children’s book authors and have them sign your books. View their original artworks used in their books.  Meet the life-size character Grug.  Each author will have a ‘Gift with Purchase’ on multiple book sales over the weekend.

Where: Morpeth Gallery, 5 Green Street, Morpeth NSW 2321
When: Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th July 2012.
Time: 10am – 4pm each day.
Entry is Free.

These three creative and talented artists have author/illustrated some of Australia’s most popular children’s books. You will find their books in many child care & primary school libraries in Australia as well as many overseas library’s and private homes.  This is the first time that these three authors have been brought together at one venue at one time.  It is a rare opportunity to attend Morpeth Gallery for two days at a meet and greet book signing.  View their original artworks used to produce their books whilst at the gallery.

A large range of all the authors current books will be available at Morpeth Gallery over the weekend for you to purchase and have signed by the author.  Here’s a brief biography on each author:

Garry Fleming…has 93 published titles in 35 languages in 58 countries.  You may have read Bollygum, Eye Spy, The Cassowary Egg, The Water Dragon & The Magpie Goose, Endangered Species of the World, ABC Animals, or completed one of five special jigsaw books.  NBN’s Big Dog went to bed many a night reading one of Garry’s Big Animal Books with Miss Kim.  His latest releases include a set of four board books – Hug Me, Kiss Me.

Wildlife is Garry’s forte and his original paintings are created to use for his books, which he illustrates, authors and distributes around the world through his own publishing house.  Garry is based south of Sydney. Garry will be at Morpeth Gallery to chat to you about his latest book releases: . From time to time Garry is an artist in Residence at Taronga Zoo.

Ted Prior creator and author of the famous series of 35 Grug books will make the journey from his home on the north coast, just to meet you.
“Grug began his life as the top of a native Australian Burrawang tree. Resembling a small, striped haystack with feet and a nose, he is fascinated by the world around him and solves everyday problems creatively and without fuss. When for example dancing instructions are too difficult to understand, Grug invents his own dance and calls it “The Grug”.
Novocastrian Ted Prior worked as a police officer and an art teacher, teaching at Newcastle TAFE for many years.  He began to write and illustrate the original series of Grug books in 1979. As a result there’s a whole generation of thirty something’s in Australia who grew up loving Grug!
Grug then went out of publication in 1992, skipping a generation, before being published again from 2009.  Grug now has 30 adventures in the Australian bush along with his friends Snoot the Echidna and Carla the python snake.  Children are now discovering Grug for the first time.  Babies and toddlers are fascinated with the bright pictures and adventures of Grug.  They soon learn to read using the Grug stories.
Stories include Grug and His Garden, where Grug discovers a snail eating his garden, so he plants more so they can both be happy; Grug Goes Fishing, Grug Plays Soccer, where Grug and friend Cara the carpet snake play a game, and Grug Learns to Dance, in which Grug creates his own dance called, “The Grug”. Recent editions include, Grug Goes to Hospital and Grug Learns to Fly.
Ted has recently released three new Grug board books for toddlers.  Grug ABC, Grug 123, Grug Animals and for primary school aged children 6-10years, an activity book – Grug’s Big Book of Fun, with over 150 pages of holiday fun.
As well as Ted being present Grug himself will also be at Morpeth walking around so you can have your photo taken with him.  Grug is large standing almost 2 metres high and 1.5 metres wide.

Natalie Jane Parker author and artist of no less than 23 children’s books written in English, and translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, Polish, and German to help kids there to read both their native language but also English. Themes for Natalie’s books include mythical character’s, insects as well as native Australian animals.  She has colouring books, activity books, and most importantly educational books.

Natalie Jane Parker resides in the foothills of the Barrington Tops National Park, Hunter Valley, which gives her all the inspiration she needs to create her Australian themed children’s books.  Kids love following their adventures, identifying all the native birds and animals as they go.

Meet Willow the Wombat, Echo the Dolphin, Bella Butterfly, Frankie Frog, Lulu Ladybird, Blip & Pip, Bumble the Bee, Marshall Mouse & the brand new character Casey the Kitten.  This is Natalie’s latest release.  Her books teach children to count, read the time, about the days of the week, identifying colours & shapes – often in an Australian bush setting.

Echo the Dolphin presents an environmental message about the dangers of the ocean, when his friends get caught in a net and he sets about helping them escape.

Chapel Jazz Free at Morpeth

Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th May


Morpeth Jazz Festival features Traditional New Orleans Style ‘Toe Tappin’ Jazz, with Jazz bands playing in two historic main churches at either end of Morpeth village.  18th, 19th and 20th May 2012.


Throughout the village there is Gourmet Food shops cafes, tearooms, restaurants & Wine Court, smaller more intimate jazz bands will be playing on the street, or roaming in and out of Morpeth’s craft complexes, for you to enjoy.  They re-create that traditional New Orleans Street Party atmosphere, at Morpeth each year.  Put in a song request, and it will have you dancing in the street or maybe in one of the churches!  With a historic village atmosphere and the Hunter River as a backdrop – great food and even better Hunter Wine & Cheese, what more could you ask for?

 Jazz Bands

Jazz bands confirmed for this year’s festival include Geoff Bull…New Orleans Quartet, Jack McLaughlin’s Preservation band, Le Toot Ensemble, and Chris Cady Blues Duet.

For up to date Jazz Festival Information log onto  Use this website to provide you with a Jazz Program, bookings for Jazz Dinners etc…

Morpeth’s 186 year old  two Story Georgian Mansion Closebourne House has waited until Sunday 20th May 2012 to hear the famous Geoff Bull Jazz band play on the front verandah.

Geoff Bull is a renown New Orleans style jazz trumpet player who has lead his own bands since the early sixties. Geoff is always in demand and has returned from Europe and Japan to play at Morpeth. Geoff would have to be the best exponent of the New Orleans style trumpet in Australia and among the last of them in the world.


Arguably the best New Orleans Style Jazz trumpeter produced in Australia Geoff Bull has sought and received his recognition on the world stage. A descendant of Norwegian genius, violinist Ole Bull who toured the world in the mid 19th century and played with Liszt & Greig, Geoff brings some of that genius to the trumpet.

Born in 1942, he didn’t take up the instrument until aged 17, took the one lesson that came with the instrument, and then proceeded to teach himself. Influenced by the New Orleans style recordings of King Oliver, and Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five, he finally adopted Bunk Johnson as his major influence. Two years later, Geoff took his trumpet to England sitting in with Europe’s best, Sammy Rimington and Barry Martyns Bands. Back in Australia, aged 20, Geoff formed his own band and over the next 8 years proceeded to popularize Sydney’s Rocks area with his sparkling performances at the Orient Hotel.

On his first visit to New Orleans in 1966, Geoff sat in with a profusion of master performers, George Lewis, Jim Robinson, Alec Bigard, Sweet Emma, Punch Miller, Willie Humphrey, Louis Nelson and also played a Mother’s Day parade with the then still active Eureka Brass Band alongside Kid Sheik and Peter Bocage. Since then Geoff has spent a great part of every year touring the world spending increasingly longer periods in his beloved New Orleans. Now adopted by the old hands, Geoff has received the singular honour of being the only Australian musician to have appeared professionally at Preservation Hall, which now occurs regularly on his visits. Apart from the USA, on his annual tours overseas, he has played in Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and England.

When not on tour, Geoff regroups members of his old “Olympia” band in Morpeth and recreates some of the best and most authentic New Orleans sounds heard this side of Basin Street.

For more information log on to or phone 02 4833 3312.  E: